NHS Bradford and Airedale District Support Service has a number of schemes that are tailored to support its
17,000 staff in achieving a healthy balance between work and family.
Its Childcare Support Services won ‘Most effective benefits strategy for working parents and carers’ at the Employee Benefits Awards 2010.
Since its programme was introduced in 2002, the percentage of new parents returning to work has risen from about 75% in 2005 to nearly 90% in 2009. Childcare offering includes two onsite nurseries, childcare
vouchers, emergency childcare provision, a keep-in- touch scheme during leave, and a variety of ante- and post-natal workshops.
Anne Whitaker, childcare support manager at NHS Bradford and Airedale District, says: “Our parents were not returning to work after maternity leave, were finding it difficult, or were delaying it because they had not got childcare in place. We started up a keep-in-touch scheme where we do maternity and paternity workshops. So whether [staff] are thinking about having a baby or have just become pregnant, they are invited to a workshop where they can ask one-to-one questions, speak with midwives, learn about the emotional side of having a
baby, childcare provision, and health and dietary practices while pregnant.”
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